News July 29

Senator Sanders

Americans Are Angry Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a Wall Street Journal column that a "bad" deficit-reduction plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "does not ask the wealthy and big corporations to make any sacrifice." House Speaker John Boehner's plan "is much worse," Sanders said, because it would only be a short-term fix to the debt limit and give extraordinary power to a special congressional panel to come up with another $1.8 trillion in cuts within six months. LINK

A Republican Responds On C-SPAN's Washington Journal, the host read from Sanders' column and asked Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois to respond. "Respect the heck out of Bernie, but I think he's kind of crazy there ... If you want the G.E.'s of the world to pay their fair share, simplify the tax code ... I'm curious as to whether Bernie advocates that." VIEW

Labor Fights Back Sen. Sanders told MSNBC's Ed Schultz that labor leaders understand "the real fight to protect working families ... is not going to take place here in D.C. between ... one group of people who say ‘No, no, no,' and another group of people who say. ‘Well, I give you this I give you that.' The real solution is going to be in states like Wisconsin and in Ohio, where working people are beginning to fight back successfully." VIDEO

Vermont Delegation Sen. Patrick Leahy supports Reid's plan. Sanders has not said how he would vote, but called the Reid proposal a "very bad plan" that would cut $900 billion in discretionary spending and cause "a lot of pain for people." Rep. Peter Welch said Democrats need to accept some cuts to favored programs, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Vermont Calls Staff for Sens. Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch all report more calls than usual this week and there is a common theme: debt ceiling calls, WVNY-TV reported. Harper Gay, a staff assistant in Sen. Sanders' office, said that "beginning Tuesday we received about 120 calls." That's four times the normal amount. "There's a lot of uncertainty," Gay said. VIDEO and VIDEO

Fuel Efficiency Sen. Sanders hailed an agreement between the Obama administration and automakers that will increase the average fuel economy of American cars to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Sanders said it will save motorists money at the gas pump, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and generate new jobs, The Associated Press reported. LINK

Who is Bernie Sanders? The Jeopardy category was "The Sanders of Time" and the final answer was the senator who staged a one-man, nine-hour filibuster on Dec. 10, 2010 to protest a tax bill. The contestant Ryan got it right for $2,000. "You know your Sanderses," Alex Trebek said. VIDEO

Dental Care Sen. Sanders, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Care and Aging, is seeking information about the status of dental care in preparation for a Senate hearing that he plans to hold later this year," according to an article on the website Dr. Bicuspid.com. LINK

World

U.S. Sees Iranian, al Qaeda Alliance The U.S. for the first time formally accused Iran of forging an alliance with al Qaeda in a pact that allows the terrorist group to use Iranian soil as a transit point for moving money, arms and fighters to its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

National

House Puts Off Debt Vote as Press by Boehner Fails Short of support from their conservative members, House Republican leaders on Thursday abruptly put off a vote on their proposal to raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending, The New York Times reported. LINK

Slow Growth Raises Worries of Double Dip The United States economy slowed considerably this year from a year ago, the Commerce Department reported on Friday. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter. The news comes as Congress is debating measures that some economists worry could further slow the recovery and even throw the economy back into recession, The New York Times reported. LINK

Dow Retreats for Fifth Straight Day Stocks closed mostly lower on Thursday, failing to hold on to early gains as investors maneuvered into position ahead of an expected vote on a Republican proposal for the debt ceiling, The New York Times reported. LINK

Vermont

Welch on Debt Limit Rep. Peter Welch introduced a backup plan that would provide for a straight "up-or-down" vote on raising the debt ceiling. Welch told Vermont Public Radio there must be a measure available in case no resolution is reached. LINK

State Plans Vermont expects about $150 million in federal funds next month. What if the check never comes? State Treasurer Beth Pearce said there would be no short-term ill effects. Just in case, Finance Commissioner James Reardon told agencies to draw down all federal funds the state is entitled to by Friday, the Burlington Free Press and  Vermont Press Bureau reported. LINK

Military Contractor A Vermont-based manufacturer of protective military eyewear is expanding into helmets.

Essex Junction-based Revision's Soldier Systems division won a $2 million, three-year contract to support the design, development and demonstration of the U.S. Army's next-generation head protection gear, AP reported. LINK

Newport Development An environmental panel has given the go-ahead to a developer planning to build 21 new multi-family homes in Newport. Gilman Housing Trust plans to demolish five buildings at the former Sleeper Place and replace them with the $3.5 million development, AP reported. LINK